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Chicago's India Town

Updated on January 24, 2012

India Town on Devon Avenue in Chicago, IL

Check the web's best guide to the Southeast Asian shops and restaurants on Chicago's Devon Avenue in Rogers Park. One of my favorite ethnic neighbourhoods in Chicago is the stretch of Devon Avenue in West Rogers park known unofficially as Little India or India Town. During warm weather, a day out in this area is a treat. Admire the beautiful saris, fabrics, jewellery and handicrafts. Smell the great food. Shop for exotic fruit and veg (as well as your ordinary fare) at discount prices. Have a proper vindaloo or sample some Indian sweets. Get your eyebrows "threaded" or wax other bits at prices much lower than your regular American salon. Relax on Lake Michigan's beach. My kids find a day out in India town to be a treat as well. See how to get there yourself and why we love this part of Chicago.

This short film gives you an idea of the diversity you'll find during your trip down Devon Avenue: one street in Chicago.

West Rogers Park Zip Code

The zip or postal code for India Town in Chicago is 60659.

Photos I Took On Devon Avenue - The sites from a typical day out shopping in West Rodgers Park

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Great "Staycation"

A day out on Devon Avenue can be part of a great Chicago "staycation".

How to get to India Town - Whether you're driving or taking public transportation

As a note, if you're taking the Eisenhower Expressway (I-94), there are exits for both Peterson Avenue and Touhy Avenue. Devon Avenue DOES NOT have an exit. Take either Peterson or Touhy heading East and head to California Avenue. When you hit California, head South if you're coming from Touhy or north if you're coming from Peterson.

A markerThe Heart of India Town -
2600 W Devon Ave, Chicago, IL
get directions

Peterson or Touhy Exits

Take either the Peterson Ave. or Touhy Ave. exits off I-94. Devon Avenue crosses I-94 but only as a bridge over the highway. Head south from Touhy or north if you exit on Peterson Ave.

Brush up on your parallel parking

Much of the parking here is metered parking on the street. Chicago now has a 'Pay to Park' system if you are lucky enough to find a vacant space!

Take The Metra's "Union Pacific North" Line - Rogers Park Station

The Metra's Union Pacific North Line's Roger's Park stop arrives at 7000 N. Ravenswood Avenue in Rogers Park.

A markerThe Rogers Park Station -
7000 N. Ravenswood Ave, Chicago, IL
get directions

Metra

Metra Train's Rogers Park stop is located at 7000 N. Ravenswood Ave.

Park and Ride To Rogers Park - The Red Line

If you're no good at parallel parking or you plan on spending the whole day at India Town, you may want to drive to the Howard Station and park your car. From here, take the Red Line south to the Loyola Station.

A markerThe Howard Station - Parking Available -
7519 N. Paulina St., Chicago, IL
get directions

The Red Line

The Red Line's "Loyola" stop is the closest L stop for Rogers Park, arriving at 1200 W. Loyola Ave.

Loyola Station - Take the L Train

The Red Line's Loyola Station is located near Rogers Park, at 7500 Loyola Ave.

A markerThe Red Line - Loyola Station -
7500 W Loyola Avenue, Chicago, IL
get directions

Park & Ride to India Town

The Red Line's "Howard" station is one of the few L stations with "park and ride". It's located at 7519 N. Paulina Ave. and has 24-hour parking for just $4 as of May 2009.

Park here and take the Red Line south to the "Loyola" stop.

Indian Independence Day Parade - Celebrated on August 15.

If you like a parade, visit Devon Avenue on August 15. If you're looking for a calm day with no crowds, maybe you'll give West Rogers Park a miss on that day!

Cheap Fruit and Vegetables

Whether you like Indian food or not, Devon Avenue Indian grocers offer some of the best produce in Chicago for the cheapest price!

The smells and tastes of India Town are fantastic. Are you curious to try some of your own Indian cookery? Even if you're not that brave and adventurous, you definitely should have a wander through an Indian grocer on Devon Avenue, such as Patel's. Some of the fruit and vegetables are very unusual indeed! You can pick up a few frozen food items and premade snack mixes if you're short on time. Shop for Indian household items, and a few English imports as well (biscuits, chocolates, sweets, brown sauce, even Horlicks).

Here are two video clips to help you stock your 'Indian' pantry.

Volume 1 covers whole beans and split beans (daal): Channa, Rajma, Moong, Urad, Toor. Basmati rice, Atta and Sooji.

Volume 2 covers whole and ground spices. The whole spices being discussed are: Mustard, Cumin & Fenugreek Seeds, Cloves, Cinnamon Sticks, Cardamom (Green & Black), Dried Red Chiles and Bay Leaves. Ground spices explained include: Red Chili Powder, Turmeric, Asafoetida, Coriander, Cumin, Garam Masala, Dried Mango Powder and Chat Masala.

Indian Cookbooks - Learn what to do with all that produce you saw.

Have you used fresh turmeric root before? Do you know how to cook all of the dalls that you see for sale in the Indian shops? Why would you use asafoetida (hing)? What herbs give your curries that distinctive Indian aroma? I'm always inspired to try my hand at a few new recipes after a shopping trip to somewhere like Patel Brothers. Here are a few cookbooks to get you started.

Devon Avenue Indian Restaurants

  • India Garden - W. Devon Ave., Chicago, IL

Chicago

  • Little India Restaurant - Bryn Mawr Ave., Chicago, IL
  • Klay Oven - N. Orleans St., Chicago, IL
  • Khyber Pass - E. Wacker Dr., Chicago, IL
  • Raj Darbar - Halsted St., Chicago, IL
  • Rajun Cajun - E. 53rd St., Chicago, IL
  • Veerasway Fresh Indian - W. Randolph St., Chicago, IL
  • Shan Restaurant - N. Sheridan Rd., Chicago, IL
  • Indian Grill - N. Clark St., Chicago, IL
  • Chicago Curry House - Plymouth Ct., Chicago, IL
  • Gaylord Fine Indian Cuisine - E. Walton St., Chicago, IL
  • Indian Garden - E. Ontario St., Chicago, IL
  • India House - W. Grand Ave., Chicago, IL

Chicago Suburbs

  • Curry Hut - Highwood, IL
  • Himalayan Restaurant - Niles, IL
  • Bombay Kabab House - Evanston, IL

Delivery.com also covers

New York City, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Miami and Dallas

More Than Food

Excite more senses than just your taste when you shop Devon Avenue for silks, jewelry and incense or get a massage of Indian salon treatment.

Pamper Yourself On Devon Avenue

Devon Avenue has many affordable options for salon treatments like eyebrow threading, mehndi henna treatments and massages. Indulge.

Mehndi Tattoos - Henna Art

Eyebrow Threading - More effective than waxing

I get my eyebrows threaded, and prefer to do so at a salon on Chicago's Devon Avenue. Is it effective? Yes: the results last longer than waxing. Does it hurt? Yes, it does. Check out this video and see if you might want to give eyebrow threading a go!

Indian Head Massage - Relaxing and Good For You

Getting your head massaged with olive oil is fantastic: relaxing and good for you. Everyone knows that both olive and scalp massages are good for you. Improve your frame of mind and your hair by getting an Indian head massage!

Not only that but massage improves circulation, which translates to a younger look on your face.

Travel Books on Chicago - Handy Reference For Visiting the Windy City

If you're looking at Roger's Park as part of your next trip to Chicago, you should pick up a tourist book or two to take with you for handy reference.

Squidoo Affiliations - I'm a member!

Introduce Even More People To The Joys Of Chicago's India Town

Pass Along These Tips For This Chicago Tourist Destination

If you really enjoyed this lens you should nominate it for a Lens of the Day award. If it wins, this lens will be prominently displayed on Squidoo for a day. And just think how many Chicagoans or visitors to this city might be inspired to visit this gem in the city. This lens could let somebody know about their next favorite city spot: and if people aren't in Chicago, they might be inspired to find some Southeastern culture in their own town. So go on and spread the knowledge - share this lens!

Can't rate this lens or nominate it because you're not yet a member of Squidoo?

If you're not yet a member of Squidoo, you can sign up and get started with the Squidoo community right here. I STRONGLY RECOMMEND having a Squidoo account if you wish to pursue a career as an affiliate marketer

As much as I love going to Devon Avenue, I haven't had the good fortune of eating at all of its restaurants. Do you have a favorite you'd like to highlight? Maybe just another tip for those who are new to Indian food (Americans are still somewhat hesistant to try Indian food and are a little scared of anything claiming to be 'curry'). Let us know here!

Contact Laura Schofield

*If you would like to suggest any links or have your own photos and / or stories published, please send me an email. I can be contacted through my personal homepage, laura-schofield.com. If you enjoy the work I've done here, I do offer professional copy writing, photo restoration / manipulation, search engine optimization and web design services. I can again be contacted for any of these services through my website.

Your tip on visiting Chicago's India Town - Do you have a favorite shop or other insider info to share?

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    • profile image

      AmayaAberdeen 5 years ago

      We are heading to Chicago in 2 weeks.We run an Indian restaurant in Aberdeen Scotland.Looking forward to trying a few Indian retaurants in Chicago,thanks for the information.If you're ever in Aberdeen ,Scotland,look us up Amaya Aberdeen

    • profile image

      tincredibleindia 5 years ago

      Great lens, you are certainly very passionate about Indian cuisine and have put a lot of effort into sharing your knowledge.

      Get all possible information about India Tourism at here only.

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 6 years ago

      Makes me want to buy a ticket

    • profile image

      ShamanicShift 7 years ago

      I was born in Chicago, but did not visit much over the years. I want to get into the swing of visiting more often. India Town is a side of Chicago I haven't toured yet. Thanks for the comprehensive info, so well presented!

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 7 years ago

      Laura, this is a fabulously creative resource you have crafted! I've tried Indian food a time or too and surely enjoyed the taste. Your lens would surely encourage visitors to Chicago's India Town. Nicely presented.

    • annetteghallowe1 profile image

      annetteghallowe1 8 years ago

      I can't believe I lived in the western suburbs and never found this gem of an area. I am going to be back in the midwest in August and will be making a trip to check it out. Great lens!

    • JenOfChicago LM profile image

      JenOfChicago LM 8 years ago

      Great lens on one of my very favorite neighborhoods. The diversity, the delicious food, the sights to see - everyone should visit! Thanks for adding this lens to All Things Chicago https://hubpages.com/travel/groups-allthingschicag